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Swamp White Oak

Scientific Name

Quercus bicolor

Origin

Mainly found throughout the Midwest in places like Iowa, Missouri, western Kentucky, & southern Wisconsin.  Can be found in areas as far east as New York and as far north as Quebec and Ontario.  Moving southward it ranges into Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina.    

Habitat

Prefers lowland areas in a variety of soils, such as river floodplains, borders of ponds, depressions, stream sides, near lakes and swamps and peatland areas.

Growth Nature

Reaches a height of 60 -70 ft. with a spread of 60 ft.   Crown tends to be irregular in shape. Both male and female flowers develop on the same tree.  

Points of Interest

  • Can be distinguished from other oaks by its long stemmed acorns.  These acorns are ready to sprout as soon as they are ripe.

  • Wood is used for cabinets, furniture, veneers, flooring, and interior finishing.  Has also been used for making boxes, crates, fence posts, railroad ties, structural beams and dimensional lumber for construction.

  • Native Americans ate the acorns both raw & cooked.  Acorns also were ground and added as thickeners to stews and for making bread.

  • Roasted acorns were used as a coffee substitute.  Tannins in the acorns can be leached out by running water.

  • Oak galls, caused by insects, were used by pioneers as a source of tannin and dye.

  • Medicinally, parts of the tree and its acorns were used as an astringent, to treat hemorrhages, chronic diarrhea, cholera and dysentery.